When choosing a wedding caterer, there are several things you should keep in mind so you don’t end up with a disaster on your hands. You don’t need to be reminded that your wedding day is one of the most important times of your life. You certainly don’t want your special day to end up feeling like a story from one of those “wedding catastrophe” reality television shows.

The main reason for hiring a caterer is obviously to have them prepare the food you’ll be serving your guests. The key reason for hiring a the right caterer is to help reduce the amount of stress you’ll deal with in planning and staging your wedding and reception. If you are overly stressed, the months leading up to your wedding will almost make you yearn for an elopement. You want to be able to enjoy this special time of your life and not be completely overwhelmed and anxious.

Weddings are very detailed events, right down to who is seated next to whom at the reception tables. When you’re searching for a good caterer, in addition to the quality of their food preparation, look for someone who has extensive experience with weddings and events similar in size to yours. A professional caterer should know how much food to prepare based on the number of guests you are expecting. Portions should be generous and the food should be as memorable as the day itself. Also, keep an eye open for examples of your candidate’s project management skills. For example, are they well-prepared and organized for meetings? A very detail-oriented person who has successfully handled jobs of your size in the past will work well as your caterer.

Oftentimes, you’ll be better off if you choose someone whose taste and style is appropriate for your style of wedding. You want your caterer to be in synch with your theme and decor. You probably won’t want to hire a caterer who’s known for country cooking if your reception is chic and elegant. At the same time, you might rule out the fine dining specialist for your waterside picnic. One thing to be sure of is that the caterer you choose is clear about the details of your event and understands everything you expect of them. You will want to get all of these details in writing so there is no confusion regarding your expectations. Miscommunication is the primary cause of problems so avoid them with clarity.

One good way to get a headstart on locating the right caterer is to see what previous clients think about their work. Ask for written recommendations from other clients. If possible, try to speak with one or two of them so you can ask some specific questions about their experiences. You want to hire a caterer who comes with a stamp of approval. Be wary of working with anyone who is unwilling or even shows reluctance to help you with this request.

Lastly, here’s a bit of advice that has been proven time and time again: It is often unwise to let a family member or close friend act as your caterer. Too often there are differences of opinion, disagreements, and real or perceived slights that leave individuals with hurt feelings or even not speaking to one another. Hire a professional and treat your catering like you would any other service associated with your wedding day. Besides, you want your loved ones enjoying your special day with you, not laboring in the kitchen and missing everything.
At Swan Manor, we offer caterers a large kitchen for food and service preparation, plus additional space as needed. Contact us to set a time to show you and your caterer the ballroom in the carriage house for indoor dining or various spots around the grounds for al fresco meals. Contact us today to schedule a meeting and tour. Call 704-776-2530 or use the contact form here on the site. We look forward to hearing from you.